Math academy offers students a place to prepare, refresh skills for college

The placement test is one of the first things a student does when they come to El Camino, and it’s also very important to a student’s academic path.

Placement tests are a means to satisfy “ECC graduation requirements (Section A, Item 6) for the A.A./A.S. Degree,” according to the EC Counseling Services website.

The Math Academy is a new program set up by the math department to help students excel in math faster on the college level.

It’s also a place for students to refresh their skills and prepare for placement tests.

“I wish I would’ve known about that program, because I was good at math, but sometimes you just forget,” Austin Jasper, engineering major, said. “I reached a point in my placement test where I just hit a blank area.”

The academy is held four days a week for three weeks in both the winter and summer. Each class is four hours, containing three hours of lecture followed by an hour of computer work with practice problems, according to the website.

Associate professor Alice Martinez teaches math 12, 73 and 170 at the math academy.

“One of the things I love about this program is that students are actually learning and seeing results,” Martinez said. ” The ultimate goal is to get people placed where they should be.”

According to the Summer Math Academy Reports, students are benefiting from the academies. As of Sept. 15, 2015, out of 485 students, 417 completed the academy and retook the placement test. Of the 417 students, 63 percent placed in a higher math course.

2015 Math Academy Level of Placement

  • Completed & Took Placement Test = 417
  • Tested up one level = 148/417 = 35 percent
  • Tested up two levels = 99/417 = 24 percent
  • Tested up three levels = 16/417 = 45 percent
  • Total that placed higher in higher math = 263 students = 63 percent

Athletic counselor Chris Jeffries refers students to the math academy, and strongly recommends it for those who score in the remedial range.

“We had great success last semester in the winter,” Jeffries said. “Even a 30 minute session can help move them up one or two levels.”

Students can sign up for the math academy online through the Mathematical Sciences division.

The first of six information sessions for the math academy is on April 16 from 1:30-3 p.m. in the MBA building room 319.